Louise Froese, who taught me to cook beets, casually mentioned that she doesn't bother scrubbing her garden carrots.
I looked at her with some incredulity. Dirt isn't as bad for you as us sanitized parents like to think, but didn't dirt affect the flavour? Not to mention the texture.
Good thing I pursued it. Turns out, she lets her washing machine do the scrubbing for her.
I couldn't believe it would work so I headed home and threw about 5 pounds of carrots and turnips from the garden into the washer along with two large bath towels (I made sure to brush the excess dirt off the veggies).
I have a small front loader that boasts a lot of unused settings. Putting a tiny bit of soap in the reservoir, I set the machine on the lowest, shortest setting (hand dry) then watched the veggies whirl about. The towels lessoned the rattling which I imagined would assume the din of a tympani.
Outside of my skepticism, my main concern was for the machine. I asked Louise about wear and tear and she shrugged that it never had been a concern for her machine: a top loader that has washed many pounds of carrots over many years.
The buzzer announced the 20 minute cycle was up. I pulled the veggies out and, of course, they were as clean as if I'd spent 20 minutes scrubbing them. The odd one had a little dirt residue that came off with a scraping from my nail.
I think my next (and last- welcome winter) batch of carrots, I'm going to try in the top rack of my dishwasher. Will report back!